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Chronic lateral ankle pain is recurring or chronic pain on the outside part of the ankle that often develops after an injury such as a sprained ankle. Other conditions, however, may also cause chronic ankle pain.

Signs and symptoms include:
  • Ankle instability
  • Difficulty walking on uneven ground or in high heels
  • Pain, sometimes intense, on the outer side of the ankle 
  • Repeated ankle sprains
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
While ankle sprains are the most common cause of chronic lateral ankle pain, other causes may include:
  • A fracture in one of the bones that make up the ankle joint
  • Arthritis of the ankle joint
  • Inflammation of the joint lining
  • Injury to the nerves that pass through the ankle. In this case, the nerves become stretched, torn, injured by a direct blow, or pinched under pressure.
  • Scar tissue in the ankle after a sprain. The scar tissue takes up space in the joint, putting pressure on the ligaments.
  • Torn or inflamed tendon
Treatments for chronic lateral ankle pain include:
  • Over the counter or prescription anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling. Consult your physician before taking any medications.
  • Physical therapy, including tilt-board exercises, directed at strengthening the muscles, restoring range of motion, and increasing your perception of joint position
  • Ankle braces or other supports
  • Steroid medication
  • Immobilization to allow the bone to heal (in cases of fractures)

 

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